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WHO/DIGITAL Scalextric Sport Digital Racing in Worthing

What a fabulous day of digital racing at the Barn - including a tense GT Club Car Rotation competition, a Goodwood Revival pairs race and a one-hour GT4 Trophy enduro. Plus we held the first official test for the BTCC cars, to get them ready for 2018.

All the results can be viewed by clicking on the images to the right. More pictures are available to view on Flickr. The updated championship tables are over on the 2017 WHO/digital championship page.

Race Report

For our ninth Digital Saturday at the Barn, we moved towards our planned 2018 Saturday format. That means just one club car race (a GT Rotation), a Goodwood Revival race, a one-hour GT4 Trophy endurance race and the headline series for 2018 - the WHO/digital BTCC Championship.

The BTCC action was limited to a shakedown and official timed test session, but that boosted the grid for the day - Oli joining us for the morning and Alex racing all day, his WHO debut. Both are local 1/32 club racers who've snapped up BTCC cars ready for next year. Also making his first appearance at the Barn was Terry R, who has Scalextric digital layout at home.

Set-up, as usual was slick and well-oiled. Mike D, Simon, Terry P, Andy and Duncan getting the track up and running in good time. A two month break from digital action meant that race control was inevitably a little rusty to begin with, but that gave time for a couple of latecomers to join the GT Club Car Rotation. Fourteen racers gave us fourteen heats.

GT Club Car Rotation

All fourteen drivers had five minutes at the wheel of each of the six GT Club Cars - a combination of Super Resistant and High Detail Scalextric models. Some are super quick, others a bit more pedestrian and there's the odd fuel-guzzler, so the goal is to do the best with the machinery you're given...

The rotation is also the perfect way to learn the track and become re-acquainted with the hardware and software - especially for those who've not had much practice or a new to digital racing. We ran with both the fuel and tyre features of RCS64 turn on, so it was a steep learning curve for our two debutants, Terry R and Alex.

First to complete their six heats was Ash, whose total of 99.5 laps looked solid, but beatable. It was a total that was soon eclipsed by Andy, who'd started with a mediocre heat of 14 laps, but bounced back with a string of three 22s and two 23s to finish on 126.25 laps. That was now the target to beat.

The early challengers looked like Terry P and Ryan, both scoring 20+ laps. Terry's run was halted by the 'Euro rotation', but he'd be back for the final two heats. Ryan completed his six run with a score of exactly 110 laps, a lap and a quarter up on his brother Oliver and throwing down the junior gauntlet to Aiden, who'd run in the final heat.

Meanwhile, it looked like only Mike D was on course to challenge Andy for the race win. He started with a 17-lap run and followed that up with a 21 and three 22s. That left Mike a target of 20.5 laps in his final heat to score his first GT rotation win of the year. It was a big pressure heat also for Aiden, who needed 17 laps to beat Ryan for the junior medal and Terry P just needed to get into double figures to beat off Jean for third.

And they all did it - although both Aiden and Terry made harder work of it than was entirely necessary. Mike put in another 22 lap heat to win by two laps - how Andy rued that below-par first heat. Behind the top three, Jean was fourth, Oli and excellent fifth, a mere quarter of a lap ahead of Simon who had more than half an eye on cooking lunch. Then came the trio of juniors - Aiden, Ryan and Oliver covered by two and a half laps. Duncan, Matthew, Alex, Ash and Terry R rounded off the fourteen, with Alex having set the fastest lap of the morning with a 10.605 seconds in his final heat.

Goodwood Revival pairs race

Lunch was served a little later than anticipated. Simon's word-famous WHO dogs going down well. The track was open for some more free practice and BTCC shakedown - Oli heading home happy in the knowledge that his Halfords Honda Civic is going nicely. We also waved goodbye to Terry P after lunch, but said hello to Graham. Jean missed out on the Goodwood race to have a real-life driving lesson. That left us with twelve racers in six cars for a Goodwood Revival pairs race.

First on the entry list were Mike and Graham, attempting to put Mike's 1970 SCA Camaro into victory lane for the sixth time this year. The other regular pairing of Simon and Duncan had new wheels, with Simon's SRC Porsche 907 looking very low and sleek on the grid. In stark comparison was Andy's big and bulky Carrera Ford Torino stock car, shared with Terry R. Andy's usual '69 Camaro was loaned to Ash and Ryan. Ollie and Aiden borrowed Simon's sky blue GT40. The final car on the grid was another Camaro, this time Alex's sumptuous Pioneer 1968 model - he shared with Matthew.

With just six cars, we ran a two-minute qualifying session - each car's fastest lap determining grid positions. Then it would be a 30 minute race with a driver change at half way. Qualifying put Mike and Graham on pole, the Torino in second, the Porsche in third, Alex's Camaro fourth, with Ash and Ryan beating Oliver and Aiden to fifth.

Fastest out of the blocks on a damp, overcast track was the Pioneer Camaro, Alex leading Graham. Those two would have a magnificent dice for the first fifteen minutes, with Simon's Porsche right in the mix too. It was not such a good start for the big Torino, which Terry was finding a bit more of a handful in racing conditions than in practice. A couple of trips to the floor dislodged a front axle bushing and the car eventually needed opening up, repairing and returned to the track twenty laps behind the leading trio. In between front and back, Ryan was comfortably pulling away from Aiden.

At half distance - in the midst of the driver changes - Alex and Matthew still held a one lap lead ahead of Graham and Mike. Disaster had struck for the Porsche and it was receiving mechanical repairs in the pits, already five laps adrift. Ash and Ryan were twelve laps off the leaders and Oliver and Aiden a further seven laps adrift. Terry handed over to Andy with eleven laps separating them from the rest of the field.

It didn't take Mike long to get into the groove and he got faster and faster and faster... The one-lap deficit soon turned into a comfortable lead, much as Matthew tried to hang on. By the end, it had become a defensive operation for Matthew as he held off a hard-charging Duncan, recovering brilliantly from the Porsche's mid-race mishaps.

As the chequered flag fell, Mike had a huge thirteen lap lead, Matthew hung on to second by just one lap, with Ash and Ryan driving brilliantly to finish just two laps behind the Porsche. Way back (eighteen laps, in fact) were the two Fords - Oliver keeping Andy at bay to bring the GT40 home four laps ahead of the patched-up Torino. Fastest lap, not surprisingly, went to Mike and Graham - 10.857 seconds, the only sub-eleven second lap.

GT4 Trophy One Hour Endurance Race

The second running of the new DiSCA GT4 Trophy class saw an extended field and a longer running time. Jean's Bathurst Audi R8 LMS returned to action, but all the other cars were new. Both Andy and Graham unveiled red and white Aston Martin Vantages and Mike D had the very tasty new 'inline' Porsche 911 RSR. Simon had prepared and chipped a lovely front-engined TVR Tuscan. As for the teams, Jean paired with Aiden, Graham with Oliver, Simon with Ryan, Andy with Alex, Mike with Ash and Matthew shared the yellow Audi club car with Terry.

Qualifying for grid positions put Mike and Ash in pole position, Graham and Oliver second, Alex and Andy third, Jean and Aiden fourth, Matt and Terry fifth and Simon and Ryan sixth. The race would start as qualifying ended - with a damp track, although this would get wetter at the race went on.

It was Andy who took the early lead, but Ash fought back strongly and got ahead after Andy bodged the first round of pitstops. The GT4 cars had been set up with bigger fuel tanks and less tyre wear, so this race was more about the driving than diving into the pits every couple of minutes. Driver changes took place every fifteen minutes, but some pairs chose to double-stint.

At fifteen minutes, Andy lead Ash by a lap, Simon was six laps back, neck and neck with Aiden, Matt was fifth four laps back and Oliver was a further nine laps adrift. Andy and Ash kept at it, while all the other pairs changed over, Ryan taking charge of the Tuscan for the next half hour. Andy drove hard, but could only hand a three lap lead to Alex at half way. Ash handed over to Mike. Behind the top two, Jean had taken the Audi into third place, twelve laps of top spot and a lap ahead of Ryan. Graham had pulled up to fifth and was just a lap back from Ryan. Terry was eight laps adrift.

Light rain fell and the track remained damp - ideal for intermediate tyres. Alex was doing a superb job fending off Mike. Any gains were minimal, with the lead still scored at three laps with fifteen minutes to go. The top two had pulled out another five laps on Aiden, who was five ahead of Oliver. Ryan had dropped to fifth, two laps behind Oliver and seven ahead of Matt.

Then everything suddenly got tense with about eleven minutes to go. The catalyst was undoubtedly the track conditions turning from damp to wet. Alex and Mike continued to lap at the same pace on intermediates, then changing to wets on the next scheduled fuel stop. However, the drivers were struggling in the conditions and there were more on-track hazards to avoid. Whether it was pure luck or more digital experience - or a bit of both - Mike was finding it easier to get through traffic and round the fairly frequent pile-ups. Alex's lead evaporated and Mike hit the front with seven and a half minutes to go.

Given how much Alex had fought to defend a slender lead for most of his stint - and against the day's best driver - he was not going to give up. Alex didn't let Mike get away and he retook the lead with five minutes to go as Mike made his last pit stop for fuel and tyres. Alex would need one more stop too, but here was a chance to push and put Mike under pressure. Unfortunately, more incidents with traffic let Mike catch up and overtake just before Alex's final stop. Mike could stroke the Porsche round for the final three minutes and win by just two laps. It had been quite a race!

Twenty four laps back was another very tight race, this time for third place - Jean and Aiden pipping Graham and Oliver by just one lap. It had been a great recovery by the fourth-place pair after a difficult start, getting to know a brand-new car. A third nail-biting battle - for fifth place - finished with Matthew and Terry jumping Simon and Ryan at the end, just a lap separating them too. Running for the full hour had been a real highlight of the day and the incredibly close racing had been brilliant.

BTCC test session

That was it for the day's racing. After the prize-giving ceremonies and few departures, we ended the day with a twenty-minute official timed practice for the six BTCC owner-drivers still with us. Some of the cars had more done to them than others. All were chipped, magnets removed and ballast fitted. Two cars had Paul Gage urethane rear tyres, two had P6 tyres and two were still on the stock Scalextric tyres.

The cars certainly looked great and were going really well, promising much excitement for 2018. The top time went to the day's dominant driver - Mike's BMW on Paul Gage tyres finishing 0.320 seconds ahead of Andy's MG6 ( tyres). Alex's Honda Civic ( tyres) was a further half second back. Then came Graham's BMW (Paul Gage tyres), Simon's Passat and Jean's BMW. The final two running the stock tyres. There's more testing and tweaking needed and we have a first, non-championship race planned for December.

At the end of wonderful day at the Barn, congratulations go to all our winners and a massive thanks to everyone who came along and took part with such enthusiasm and camaraderie. Special thanks goes to Mike, who loans us his awesome digital set-up and to everyone who came early to set up and stayed late to pack away. Extra thanks to Simon for laying on lunch and refreshments in such expert fashion.

- Andy P

After the event, you’ll be able to click on the logos to watch the video and look at more pictures.
RCS64 Data output sheets: click for loads of data!